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1.  Anti-allodynic and Anti-hyperalgesic effects of an ethanolic extract and xylopic acid from the fruits of Xylopia aethiopica in murine models of neuropathic pain 
Pharmacognosy Research  2014;6(2):172-179.
Fruit extracts of Xylopia aethiopica are used traditionally in the management of pain disorders including headache and neuralgia. An animal model of vincristine-induced sensory neuropathy was developed after repeated intraperitoneal injection in rats and used in the present work to study the effects of the ethanolic extract of X. aethiopica (XAE) and its diterpene xylopic acid (XA) in vincristine-induced neuropathic pain.
Materials and Methods:
Vincristine (0.1 mg kg-1 day-1) was administered during two cycles of five consecutive days to induce chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Static tactile anti-allodynic, anti-hyperalgesic, and cold anti-allodynic effects of XAE (30-300 mg kg-1) and XA (10-100 mg kg-1) were assessed using Von Frey filaments of bending forces of 4, 8, and 15 g, the Randall-Selitto paw pressure test, and cold water (4.5°C), respectively.
Administration of vincristine caused the development of allodynia and hyperalgesia with no significant motor deficit, spontaneous pain, and foot deformity. XAE (30-300 mg kg-1) and XA (10-100 mg kg-1) exhibited anti-hyperalgesic, tactile, and cold anti-allodynic properties with XA exhibiting greater potency than XAE. Pregabalin (10-100 mg kg-1) used as control produced similar effect.
These findings establish the anti-allodynic and anti-hyperalgesic effects of the ethanolic fruit XAE and its major diterpene XA in vincristine-induced neuropathtic pain.
PMCID: PMC3996755  PMID: 24761123
Pregabalin; randall-sellito; vincristine; Von Frey filaments
2.  Antidepressant Effects of Mallotus oppositifolius in Acute Murine Models 
ISRN Pharmacology  2014;2014:324063.
Objective. Hydroalcoholic extract of leaves of Mallotus oppositifolius (MOE), a plant used for CNS conditions in Ghana, was investigated for acute antidepressant effects in the forced swimming (FST) and tail suspension tests (TST). Results. In both FST and TST, MOE (10, 30, and 100 mg kg−1) significantly decreased immobility periods and frequencies. A 3-day pretreatment with 200 mg kg−1, i.p., para-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA), a tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor, reversed the decline in immobility and the increase of swimming score induced by MOE in the modified FST. Pretreatment with reserpine alone (1 mg kg−1), α-methyldopa alone (400 mg kg−1, i.p.), or a combination of both drugs failed to reverse the decline in immobility or the increase in swimming score caused by the extract in the modified FST. The extract potentiated the frequency of head twitch responses induced by 5-hydroxytryptamine. Pretreatment with d-serine (600 mg kg−1, i.p.), glycine/NMDA agonist, abolished the behavioural effects of MOE while d-cycloserine (2.5 mg kg−1, i.p.), a glycine/NMDA partial agonist, potentiated it in both TST and modified FST. Conclusion. The extract exhibited antidepressant effects in mice which is mediated by enhancement of serotoninergic neurotransmission and inhibition of glycine/NMDA receptor activation.
PMCID: PMC3972934  PMID: 25045543
3.  Anticonvulsant Effect of Antiaris toxicaria (Pers.) Lesch. (Moraceae) Aqueous Extract in Rodents 
ISRN Pharmacology  2013;2013:519208.
Antiaris toxicaria (Moraceae) was evaluated for anticonvulsant activity in rodents. Animal models used include maximal electroshock test (MEST); pentylenetetrazole-induced (PTZ) convulsions; picrotoxin-induced (PCT) convulsions; strychnine- (STR-) and 4-aminopyridine-induced convulsions. Increase in latency to seizures as well as reduction in duration and frequency of seizures indicated anticonvulsant activity. The extract was more effective in all models used except the maximal electroshock test and strychnine-induced convulsions. Antiaris toxicaria aqueous extract (200, 400, and 800 mg kg−1) significantly (P < 0.05 − 0.01) shortened the duration of convulsions in PTZ- and PCT-induced seizures. Delay in the onset of convulsions in the two tests was significant (P < 0.001). Reduction in the frequency of seizures was also significant (P < 0.05 − 0.001) in both tests. Antiaris further delayed the onset of seizures in 4-aminopyridine model while producing 75% protection against death in mice. Diazepam (0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg kg−1), carbamazepine (3, 10, and 30 mg kg−1), and sodium valproate (100–400 mg kg−1) were used as reference anticonvulsant drugs for various models. Flumazenil blocked the effect of the extract in the PTZ test significantly suggesting that Antiaris toxicaria may be acting by enhancing the effects of the GABAergic system. Antiaris toxicaria aqueous extract therefore possesses anticonvulsant activity.
PMCID: PMC3791639  PMID: 24167736
4.  Analgesic effects of stem bark extracts of Trichilia monadelpha (Thonn.) JJ De Wilde 
Indian Journal of Pharmacology  2012;44(6):765-773.
Various parts of Trichilia monadelpha (Thonn) JJ De Wilde (Fam. Meliaceae) are used in Ghanaian traditional medicine for the treatment of painful and inflammatory conditions. The present study examined the analgesic properties of the petroleum ether (PEE), ethyl acetate (EAE), and the hydro-ethanolic (HAE) extract of the stem bark of the plant in murine models.
Materials and Methods:
PEE, EAE, and HAE were assessed in chemical (acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing and formalin tests), thermal (hot plate test), and mechanical (Randall-Selitto paw pressure test) pain models. The possible mechanisms of the antinociceptive action were also examined with various antagonists in the formalin test.
HAE, EAE, and PEE, each at doses of 10–100 mg/kg orally, and the positive controls (morphine and diclofenac) elicited significant dose-dependent antinociceptive activity in the chemical (acetic acid abdominal writhing and formalin tests), thermal (hot plate test), and mechanical (Randall-Selitto paw pressure test) pain models in rodents. The antinociceptive effect of HAE was partly or wholly reversed by systemic administration of atropine, naloxone, and glibenclamide. The antinociceptive effects of EAE and PEE were inhibited by atropine.
The extracts HAE, EAE, and PEE caused dose-related antinociception in chemical, thermal, and mechanical models of pain in animals. The mechanism of action of HAE involves an interaction with muscarinic cholinergic, adenosinergic, opioidergic pathways, and ATP-sensitive K+ channels while that of EAE and PEE involve the muscarinic cholinergic system.
PMCID: PMC3523507  PMID: 23248409
Formalin test; hot plate; pain; randall-selitto test; writhing test
5.  Analgesic effects of an ethanol extract of the fruits of Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich (Annonaceae) and the major constituent, xylopic acid in murine models 
Fruit extracts of Xylopia aethiopica are used traditionally in the management of pain disorders including rheumatism, headache, colic pain, and neuralgia. Little pharmacological data exists in scientific literature of the effect of the fruit extract and its major diterpene, xylopic acid, on pain. The present study evaluated the analgesic properties of the ethanol extract of X. aethiopica (XAE) and xylopic acid (XA), in murine models.
Materials and Methods:
XAE and XA were assessed in chemical (acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing and formalin tests), thermal (Tail-flick and Hargreaves thermal hyperalgesia tests), and mechanical (Randall-Selitto paw pressure test) pain models.
XAE and XA exhibited significant analgesic activity in all the pain models used. XAE (30-300 mg kg-1, p.o.) and XA (10-100 mg kg-1, p.o.) inhibited acetic acid-induced visceral nociception, formalin- induced paw pain (both neurogenic and inflammatory), thermal pain as well as carrageenan-induced mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia in animals. Morphine (1-10 mg kg-1, i.p.) and diclofenac (1-10 mg kg-1, i.p.), used as controls, exhibited similar anti-nociceptive activities. XAE and XA did not induce tolerance to their respective anti-nociceptive effects in the formalin test after chronic administration. Morphine tolerance did not also cross-generalize to the analgesic effects of XAE or XA.
These findings establish the analgesic properties of the ethanol fruit extract of X. aethiopica and its major diterpene, xylopic acid.
PMCID: PMC3523524  PMID: 23248562
Formalin test; kaurene diterpenes; opioid tolerance; pain; Xylopic acid
6.  Anticonvulsant and related neuropharmacological effects of the whole plant extract of Synedrella nodiflora (L.) Gaertn (Asteraceae) 
The plant Synedrella nodiflora (L) Gaertn is traditionally used by some Ghanaian communities to treat epilepsy. To determine if this use has merit, we studied the anticonvulsant and other neuropharmacological effects of a hydro-ethanolic extract of the whole plant using murine models.
Materials and Methods:
The anticonvulsant effect of the extract (10–1000 mg/kg) was tested on the pentylenetetrazole-, picrotoxin-, and pilocarpine-induced seizure models and PTZ-kindling in mice/rats. The effect of the extract was also tested on motor coordination using the rota-rod.
The results obtained revealed that the extract possesses anticonvulsant effects in all the experimental models of seizures tested as it significantly reduced the latencies to myoclonic jerks and seizures as well as seizure duration and the percentage severity. The extract was also found to cause motor incoordination at the higher dose of 1000 mg/kg.
In summary, the hydro-ethanolic extract of the whole plant of S. nodiflora possesses anticonvulsant effects, possibly through an interaction with GABAergic transmission and antioxidant mechanisms and muscle relaxant effects. These findings thus provide scientific evidence in support of the traditional use of the plant in the management of epilepsy.
PMCID: PMC3341718  PMID: 22557925
Kindling; pentylenetetrazole; picrotoxin; pilocarpine; Synedrella nodiflora
7.  Antinociceptive effect of an ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of Hilleria latifolia (Lam.) H. Walt. (Phytolaccaceae) 
Hilleria latifolia (Lam.) H. Walt. (Phytolaccaceae) is a perennial herb used in Ghanaian traditional medicine for the treatment of various painful conditions. Little scientific evidence exists in literature on the effect of this plant on pain.
Materials and Methods:
The present study examined the antinociceptive effect of the ethanolic extract of the aerial parts of H. latifolia in chemical (acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing, glutamate, formalin, and capsaicin tests) and thermal (tail immersion test) behavioral pain models in rodents. The possible mechanisms of the antinociceptive action were also assessed with various antagonists in the formalin test.
The H. latifolia extract (HLE) together with morphine and diclofenac (positive controls), showed significant antinociceptive activity in all the models used. The antinociceptive effect exhibited by HLE in the formalin test was partly or wholly reversed by the systemic administration of naloxone, theophylline, and atropine. Glibenclamide, ondansetron, yohimbine, nifedipine, and NG-L-nitro-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), however, did not significantly block the antinociceptive effect of the extract. HLE, unlike morphine, did not induce tolerance to its antinociceptive effect in the formalin test after chronic administration; morphine tolerance did not also cross-generalize to HLE. Interestingly, also, the chronic concomitant administration of HLE and morphine significantly suppressed the development of morphine tolerance.
Together, these results indicate that HLE produces dose-related antinociception in several models of chemical and thermal pain, without tolerance induction, through mechanisms that involve an interaction with adenosinergic, muscarinic cholinergic, and opioid pathways.
PMCID: PMC3178945  PMID: 21966159
Formalin; Hilleria latifolia; opioid tolerance; tail immersion; writhing
8.  Sexual dysfunction among married couples living in Kumasi metropolis, Ghana 
BMC Urology  2011;11:3.
Sexuality and its manifestation constitute some of the most complex of human behaviour and its disorders are encountered in community. Sexual dysfunction is more prevalent in women than in men. While studies examining sexual dysfunction among males and females in Ghana exist, there are no studies relating sexual problems in males and females as dyadic units. This study therefore investigated the prevalence and type of sexual disorders among married couples.
The study participants consisted of married couples between the ages of 19 and 66 living in the province of Kumasi, Ghana. Socio-demographic information and Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaires were administered to 200 couples who consented to take part in the study. All 28 questions of the GRISS are answered on a five-point (Likert type) scale from "always", through "usually', "sometimes", and "hardly ever", to "never". Responses are summed up to give a total raw score ranging from 28-140. The total score and subscale scores are transformed using a standard nine point scale, with high scores indicating greater problems. Scores of five or more are considered to indicate SD. The study was conducted between July and September 2010.
Out of a total of 200 married couples, 179 completed their questionnaires resulting in a response rate of 89.5%. The mean age of the participating couples as well as the mean duration of marriage was 34.8 ± 8.6 years and 7.8 ± 7.6 years respectively. The husbands (37.1 ± 8.6) were significantly older (p < 0.0001) than their corresponding wives (32.5 ± 7.9). After adjusting for age, 13-18 years of marriage life poses about 10 times significant risk of developing SD compared to 1-6 years of married life among the wives (OR: 10.8; CI: 1.1 - 49.1; p = 0.04). The total scores (6.0) as well as the percentage above the cut-off (59.2) obtained by the husbands compared to the total score (6.2) and the percentage above cut-off (61.5) obtained by the wives, indicates the likely presence of sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of impotence and premature ejaculation were 60.9% and 65.4% respectively from this study and the prevalence of vaginismus and anorgasmia were 69.3% and 74.9% respectively. The highest prevalence of SD subscales among the men was dissatisfaction with sexual act followed by infrequency, whereas the highest among the women was infrequency followed by anorgasmia. Dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse among men correlated positively with anorgasmia and wife's non-sensuality and infrequency of sex.
The prevalence of sexual dysfunction in married couples is comparable to prevalence rates in the general male and female population and is further worsened by duration of marriage. This could impact significantly on a couple's self-esteem and overall quality of life.
PMCID: PMC3058113  PMID: 21366917
9.  Sexual dysfunction among Ghanaian men presenting with various medical conditions 
Several medical conditions can affect and disrupt human sexuality. The alteration of sexuality in these medical conditions often hinder effective communication and empathy between the patients and their sexual partners because of cultural attitudes, social norms and negative feelings such as anxiety and guilt. Validated and standardized sexual inventories might therefore help resolve this problem. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to obtain data on the prevalence of male sexual dysfunction (SD) among Ghanaians with various medical conditions residing in Kumasi.
The Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) was administered to 150 Ghanaian men with various medical conditions between 19 and 66 years old (mean ± standard deviation: 40.01 ± 12.32 years) domiciled in the Kumasi metropolis.
Out of the total 150 questionnaires administered, 105 (70.0%) men returned the questionnaires. Questionnaires from 3 men were incomplete, leaving 102 complete and evaluable questionnaires, indicating a 68.0% response rate. Of the remaining 102 men, 88.2% were married, 70.6% had attained higher education, 88.2% were non-smokers. Whereas 54.9% were engaged in exercise, 61.8% indulged in alcoholic beverages. The prevalence of the various medical conditions include: diabetes (18%), hypertension (24.5%), migraine (11.8%), ulcer (7.8%), surgery (6.9%), STD (3.9) and others (26.5%). The prevalence of SD among the respondents in the study was 59.8%. The highest prevalence of SD was seen among ulcer patients (100%), followed by patients who have undergone surgery (75%), diabetes (70%), hypertension (50%), STD (50%) and the lowest was seen among migraine patients (41.7%).
SD rate is high among Ghanaian men with medical conditions (about 60%) and vary according to the condition and age.
PMCID: PMC2964537  PMID: 20942960
10.  Incidence of sexual dysfunction: a prospective survey in Ghanaian females 
Sexuality is a complex phenomenon that is being influenced by psychological as well as physiological factors. Its dysfunction includes desire, arousal, orgasmic and sex pain disorders. The present study aimed to assess the incidence of sexual dysfunction (SD) and related risk factors in a cohort of Ghanaian women.
The Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) was administered to 400 healthy women between 18 and 58 years old (mean +/- SD: 30.1 +/- 7.9) domiciled in the Kumasi metropolis.
The response rate was 75.3% after 99 were excluded. Of the remaining 301 women, 50% were engaged in exercise, 26.7% indulge in alcoholic beverages and only 2% were smokers. A total of 62.1% of the women had attained high education, whilst, 28.9% were married. After logistic regression analysis, alcohol emerged (OR: 2.0; CI: 1.0 - 3.8; p = 0.04) as the main risk factor for SD. The overall prevalence of SD in these subjects was 72.8%. Severe difficulties with sexual function were identified in 3.3% of the studied population. The most prevalent areas of difficulty were anorgasmia (72.4%), sexual infrequency (71.4%), dissatisfaction (77.7%), vaginismus (68.1%), avoidance of sexual intercourse (62.5%), non-sensuality (61.5%) and non-communication (54.2%). Whereas 8% had severe difficulties with anorgasmia, only 6% had severe difficulties with vaginismus.
SD affects more than 70% of Ghanaian women who are sexually active. Alcohol significantly influences sexual activity.
PMCID: PMC2936896  PMID: 20809943
11.  Antiarthritic and antioxidant effects of the leaf extract of Ficus exasperata P. Beauv. (Moraceae) 
Pharmacognosy Research  2010;2(2):89-97.
Leaf extracts of Ficus exasperata P. Beauv. (Moraceae) are commonly used in Ghanaian traditional medicine for the treatment of several pathological states including inflammatory disorders. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antiarthritic effect of an ethanolic extract of F. exasperata (FEE) in the Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis model in rats. Since free radicals and reactive oxygen species are implicated in inflammatory joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, the antioxidant potential of the extract was investigated in in vitro experimental models. FEE as well as the positive controls, dexamethasone and methotrexate, showed significant dose-dependent antiarthritic properties when applied to established adjuvant arthritis. Oral administration of FEE (30–300 mg/kg p.o.) significantly reduced the arthritic edema in the ipsilateral paw of rats with a maximal inhibition of 34.46 ± 11.42%. FEE (30–300 mg/kg p.o.) also significantly prevented the spread of the edema from the ipsilateral to the contralateral paws indicating inhibition of systemic spread. The disease-modifying antirheumatic drug methotrexate (0.1–1 mg/kg i.p.) and the steroidal anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone (0.3–3 mg/kg i.p.) also reduced very significantly the total polyarthritic edema as well as the spread of the arthritis from the ipsilateral to the contralateral paws of the treated animals. The extract also exhibited reducing activity (EC50 = 8.105 ± 18.49), scavenged 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH, EC50 = 0.499 ± 0.302) and prevented lipid peroxidation (IC50 = 1.283 ± 0.923) in rat brain homogenates. Phenols were detected in the extract. These results suggest that ethanolic extract of the leaves of F. exasperata exerts antiarthritic activity after oral administration and also has antioxidant properties which may contribute to its activity.
PMCID: PMC3140113  PMID: 21808547
DPPH; Ficus exasperata; Freund's adjuvant-induced arthritis; lipid peroxidation; total phenol

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